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How to Research Companies for Interviews

How to Research Companies for Interviews

November 1, 2013
By Michael Jungbluth

When you are looking for a job or preparing for an interview it is nice to know something about your potential employer.  During this research you will not only want to see an overview of the company and their policies, but also dig deeper into the culture and the organization of the company.  Finding the right resources for this information can be difficult at times, but it is definitely worth taking the time for successful interviews and job searches.

 When looking for a job you want to look for not only a position where you can thrive or succeed, but also one where the companies values align with your own.  Having a cohesive company culture and aligned values can create an extremely enjoyable and fruitful work experience.  Finding the companies values and goals is the easy part.  Searching for their mission statement and goals within their website will lead you to find all of this information.  Finding our about the company culture is the more difficult side of things.  An article written by Ben Eubanks titled "14 Ways to Research Company Culture" does a tremendous job highlighting the most effective ways of getting to the core of the workplace and the interactions within it.  Eubanks talks about how most often the best way to figure it out is to set up interviews or speak with current or past employees from that company.  Reading reviews of the company can also give you a good idea of the culture if the review was written by an employee.  Learning the culture of a company may be difficult, but it is very important in determining whether or not that job is right for you.

The interviewing process starts long before and finishes long after the actual interview.  Along with preparing answers to some of the most oft asked questions during an interview you have to do a fair amount of research on the company you are applying to.  This research should cover everything that you were looking for when searching for jobs along with researching the management of the company, the state of the company, and your interviewer if possible.  Researching the management of the company often leads to biographies of the upper level managers in the company, and even though they may not seem relevant it can show how interested you are in being employed at the company.  These can often be found on the company website or in the company profile.  Also leveraging the social media sites Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and especially LinkedIn can give you great insight into the direction and focuses of the company.  Researching your interviewer is very helpful to the smoothness of the interviewing process.  If you know nothing about your interviewer you can seem tentative or intimidated, and may not come across as well as you want to.  Being comfortable with the person across the table from you is necessary when interviewing for a new job.

Research of companies and people is one of the greatest tools you have in both your job search and the interviewing process.  It gives you a leg up on the other applicants for the job while making you feel like a part of the company before you even start working there.  The insight you can receive from properly researching a company can be extremely helpful in making your own decisions about where you want to continue your career, and may help you network along the way.